Ascott Launches Green Movement To Be World's Leading Green Serviced Residence Company
March 27, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel NewsSingapore, March 27, 2012 – CapitaLand's wholly-owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (http://www.the-ascott.com/) (Ascott), has embarked on a global sustainability drive, 'Go Green @ Ascott', as it strives to become the world's leading green serviced residence company.
Ascott has implemented and will continue to roll out sustainable initiatives across its offices and properties worldwide, and targets to achieve 15% savings in water and energy consumption by 2015, using 2008 as the base year. In 2011, Ascott consumed 9% less water and energy compared with 2008.  The 225,000 cubic metres of water saved can fill over 90 Olympic-sized swimming pools while the 18,000 megawatt hours of energy saved can power some 3,500 average Singapore households for a year.
Mr Tony Soh, Ascott's Chief Corporate Officer and Chairman of Ascott's Green Committee which oversees the company's global sustainability efforts, said: "Climate change is a real issue that is affecting how we live, work and play. As the world's leading international serviced residence owner-operator, Ascott can make a significant positive impact on the environment, across the 21 countries and more than 70 cities where we operate. Hence, we are taking proactive and meaningful steps to transform our business practices and promote sustainability among our staff, residents and business partners. Ascott is committed to do its part in the global sustainability effort, as it is the right thing to do, to help safeguard our planet for future generations."
Ascott will focus on five areas to realise its green vision:
1. Green Buildings
Ascott will incorporate green elements into all new properties to be built or renovated to create sustainable residences that are both comfortable and resource and energy efficient. This includes the use of sustainable building materials or products that are locally sourced, more energy efficient and more durable, which consequently have less impact on the environment.
An example of an Ascott serviced residence with sustainable features is Citadines Mount Sophia Singapore (http://www.citadines.com/singapore/mount_sophia.html). The property features sky gardens and naturally ventilated corridors which lessen the need for air-conditioning. Apartments are also designed to allow abundant daylight, thus reducing the dependency on electrical lighting.
Ascott aims to attain green certifications from established green building rating systems for all new and renovated properties.
2. Environment, Health and Safety
Ascott has put in place comprehensive environment, health and safety procedures across its serviced residences. To date, its properties in nine countries – Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Vietnam – have received international certifications on environmental management (ISO 14001) and occupational health and safety management system (OHSAS 18001).
Ascott targets to achieve international certifications for its environment, health and safety management system in all properties it owns worldwide by the end of 2012. Major contractors engaged by Ascott are already required to be certified to these international standards.
3. Green Products
Ascott has established procurement guidelines to increase the use of green products at its serviced residences. For instance, Ascott has introduced energy-saving light bulbs, solar water heaters, sensor lighting, biodegradable laundry bags and bathroom amenities with innovative and recyclable packaging to reduce wastage. At Somerset JieFangBei Chongqing (http://www.somerset.com/china/chongqing/somerset_jiefangbei.html), Ascott replaced 800 11-volt lamps with four-volt lamps in public areas. This translates to savings of over 3,500 kilowatt hours per month, which can power up to 25 average-sized refrigerators in a month.
Ascott has also adopted the use of Forest Stewardship Council or recycled paper where possible for the printing of office documents, marketing collateral and stationery.
4. Water, Energy, Paper and Waste Reduction
Ascott has implemented green practices to promote the conservation of water, energy and paper as well as to reduce waste. Since 2009, Ascott's serviced residence directory is available for download on its website which reduced the number of print copies and saved over 8,000 kg of paper every year.
Other examples of sustainability initiatives at Ascott's properties include offering long-stay residents the option not to have daily housekeeping, the installation of water-saving devices in toilet cisterns, the use of recycling bins and providing reusable eco-bags or shopping trolleys which reduce the use of disposable grocery bags.
Ascott also recycled and distributed over 40 tonnes of furniture to charitable organisations and groups in need in the United Kingdom following the refurbishment of Citadines Prestige Trafalgar Square London.
5. Stakeholder Engagement
An Ascott Earth Day is held every first Friday of the month at Ascott's offices and properties worldwide. On this day, staff and residents are encouraged to dress down while the air-conditioning at the offices and properties are turned up to conserve energy.
Similarly, staff and residents in temperate countries are encouraged to wear warmer clothing as the heater temperature is reduced. Ascott's offices and properties will also switch off beacon signage lights and other non-essential lightings for 10 hours from 8pm.
In Vietnam, staff from Somerset Chancellor Court Ho Chi Minh City (http://www.somerset.com/vietnam/ho_chi_minh_city/somerset_chancellor_court.html) and Somerset Ho Chi Minh City (http://www.somerset.com/vietnam/ho_chi_minh_city/somerset_ho_chi_minh_city.html) travelled over 250 kilometres to the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang to grow two hectares of mangrove forest which had been destroyed by storms. In Manila, Ascott Makati offers a Green Meetings Package providing recyclable notebooks and white boards instead of flip charts as well as personalised water goblets in place of paper cups. In addition, Ascott Makati provides residents an eco-menu that requires less cooking and, therefore, less energy consumption.
For further information on 'Go Green @ Ascott', please visit www.theascottlimited.com/aboutus/gogreen/index.html.
 Water and energy consumption savings are calculated based on per square metre of gross floor area.
About The Ascott Limited
The Ascott Limited is the world's largest international serviced residence owner-operator with about 22,000 operating serviced residence units in key cities of Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region, as well as over 8,000 units which are under development, making a total of more than 29,000 units.
The company operates three brands – Ascott (http://www.the-ascott.com/index.html), Citadines (http://www.citadines.com/) and Somerset (http://www.somerset.com/). Its portfolio spans over 70 cities across more than 20 countries, 14 of which are new cities in Ascott's portfolio where its serviced residences are being developed.
Ascott, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Limited, is headquartered in Singapore. It pioneered Asia Pacific's first international-class serviced residence in 1984. In 2006, it established the world's first Pan-Asian serviced residence real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust. Today, the company boasts a 28-year industry track record and award-winning serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.
Recent awards include DestinAsian Readers' Choice Awards 2012 'Best Serviced Apartment in Asia Pacific', Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards 2011 'Best Serviced Residence Brand' and 'Best Serviced Residence in Asia-Pacific', Business Traveller UK Awards 2011 'Best Serviced Apartment Company', TTG Travel Awards 2011 'Best Serviced Residence Operator' and TTG China Travel Awards 2011 'Best Serviced Residence Operator in China'.
About CapitaLand Group
CapitaLand is one of Asia's largest real estate companies. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, the multi-local company's core businesses in real estate, hospitality and real estate financial services are focused in growth cities in Asia Pacific and Europe.
The company's real estate and hospitality portfolio, which includes homes, offices, shopping malls, serviced residences and mixed developments, spans more than 110 cities in over 20 countries. CapitaLand also leverages on its significant asset base, real estate domain knowledge, financial skills and extensive market network to develop real estate financial products and services in Singapore and the region.
The listed entities of the CapitaLand Group include Australand, CapitaMalls Asia, CapitaMall Trust, CapitaCommercial Trust, Ascott Residence Trust, CapitaRetail China Trust, CapitaMalls Malaysia Trust and Quill Capita Trust.